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Degenerative Joint Disease; Osteoarthritis arthritis 

Awa; Kava; Kawa; Kew; Piper methysticum; Yagona 

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. This is the form that usually comes with age and most often affects the fingers, knees, and hips. Sometimes osteoarthritis follows an injury to a joint. For example, a young person might hurt his knee badly playing soccer. Then, years after the knee has apparently healed, he might get arthritis in his knee joint.

Kava is an ancient crop of the western Pacific. Other names for kava include `awa (Hawaii), 'ava (Samoa), yaqona (Fiji), and sakau (Pohnpei). Its scientific name is Piper methysticum. Kava is related to the black pepper--both have heart-shaped leaves and flowers similar to the flower spike of the anthurium. Kava also has a peppery taste. Since time immemorial kava has been a part of religious, political, and cultural life throughout the Pacific.


Osteoarthritis as related to Kava-Kava